Food Guidelines to Control Borderline Diabetes

Updated at: Mar 10, 2015
Food Guidelines to Control Borderline Diabetes

The management of prediabetes involves intensive lifestyle modifications. Here are some tips on how to keep pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.

Ariba Khaliq
DiabetesWritten by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Jan 24, 2014

If your fasting blood sugar levels are between 101 and 125 milligrams per decilitre you are considered borderline, or prediabetic, according to Stanford University.

Getting control of your blood sugar levels at this point or sooner is important in order to avoid cardiovascular, nerve and other health hazards associated with diabetes.

Food for Diabetics

The management of prediabetes involves intensive lifestyle modifications and setting treatment goals of blood pressure and lipid level control matching those for diabetes, according to a consensus statement released by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

Here are some tips on how to keep pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes:

Exercise and Lose Weight

Because muscles use sugar/glucose for energy, activities like walking, bicycling and gardening help to lower your blood glucose. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes or more per day.

Weight loss and exercise really will help, experts say, and there’s no need to pare off every extra pound or undertake an elaborate, strenuous exercise program.

The Diabetes Prevention Program study found that people with prediabetes who walked or did other exercise for a half-hour at least five times a week and lost 5 to 7 percent of their total weight cut their risk of developing full-fledged diabetes by nearly 60 percent. The lifestyle changes were twice as effective as taking a pill.

Reduce Calorie Intake

Extra body fat contributes to “insulin resistance” and pre-diabetes. Look for areas in which you can cut your calorie intake by 250 to 500 hundred calories per day. For example, you can:

  • Reduce your portion sizes.
  • Reduce your intake of high carbohydrate foods such as cookies, other desserts, bread, pasta, tortillas, rice, crackers, pretzels and chips.
  • Choose calorie-free beverages in place of regular sodas, fruit juices, lemonade, “smoothies,” sweetened coffee and tea drinks, and alcohol.
  • Choose low-calorie dressings or use regular salad dressing sparingly.
  • Limit nuts to a small handful (1/4 cup or less) per day.

Diabetic Food

Reduce intake of carbohydrates

Because carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, carbohydrate intake usually needs to be reduced and spread evenly throughout the day.

Move towards a Lower-Carbohydrate Eating Pattern:

Don’t eat too much carbohydrate at one meal or snack. Combine a carbohydrate food with lean protein and unsaturated fat for “balanced” meals and snacks.

  • Try a lower carbohydrate breakfast. In place of fruit juice with toast and jam, eat a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter or with an egg white omelette.
  • Choose high fibre, unrefined, whole grain carbohydrates (for example, whole wheat bread in place of white bread). You still must watch your portion sizes.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Foods high in unsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil, canola oil, nuts, avocado, fatty fish) can be included. But remember that high-fat foods are high in calories.

If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, see your doctor a couple of times a year. Meet with a registered dietician, an exercise physiologist; learn how to become fit, to eat thoughtfully. Get educated about diabetes, don’t be addicted to the weighing scale and don’t get discouraged.


Read more articles on Understand Diabetes.


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